Made in Bristol: Professor Weicheng Cui (PhD 1990)

Professor Weicheng Cui (PhD 1990) is one of China’s most remarkable scientists and a proud alumnus of the University of Bristol. The world-renowned pioneer of deep sea exploration had the opportunity to congratulate the latest graduates of Bristol when he joined the University as Distinguished Guest at its first ever graduation celebration in Shanghai, on Saturday 14 April.

The University of Bristol’s reputation for nurturing research talent is exemplified by Professor Weicheng Cui’s (PhD 1990) extraordinary career.

He is the Dean of Deep Sea Science and Technology at Shanghai Ocean University and was recently named a ‘science star of China’ by Nature magazine for his record-breaking work on manned deep-sea submersibles, including the Chinese Government funded Jiaolong.

‘I have always been fascinated by the idea of exploration and pushing frontiers. I chose to do my PhD at Bristol because it is a world-class institution which combines a strong research heritage with a pioneering approach to the advancement of human knowledge,’ said Prof Weicheng Cui.

In 2014 he founded Rainbowfish Ocean Technology Co Ltd with two fellow Bristol alumni, with the aim of building the world’s first commercial, deep-sea submersible fleet. Their ambition is to reach the deepest place on Earth — the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 11,000 metres down – by 2020. You can find out more about the project on the BBC website.

In recognition of the high value he and colleagues place on their University of Bristol education, Rainbowfish has maintained links with the institution by providing internships to Bristol students.

‘At Rainbow Fish we are concerned with pushing ourselves to the very edge – or depth – of deep sea exploration. To do this we need interns who share our passion and inventive spirit. I believe the University of Bristol nurtures these values and produces students who are well equipped to help us succeed in our mission,’ said Prof Weicheng Cui.

The company is just three years old so many of their Bristol interns haven’t graduated yet. However, Professor Cui is confident that when they do, there will be exciting opportunities for talented young scientists to follow his lead, pushing the boundaries of human exploration.

‘Since three years ago, both our research center and the Rainbowfish company have become places for Bristol students to do an internship. Now we have the capability to take 30-50 students every year. As an Alumnus of Bristol university, I really appreciate very much for education I received and I will do my best to help other students in need. I sincerely wish my University better and better!’

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Find out more about Bristol’s alumni networks in China by visiting our webpages.

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